Dr. Fernando explains:
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years. Nowadays, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry’, as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth. Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, tooth-coloured fillings, implants and tooth whitening.
What is a veneer?
Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.
Why might I have a veneer?
Veneers are an ideal way of treating discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks.
How are veneers made?
A small amount of enamel is removed from the tooth, usually the same thickness as the veneer will be. An impression is taken by the dentist and sent to a dental technician for the veneer to be made in the laboratory. The veneer is then bonded to the tooth to form a strong and natural-looking repair. Sometimes a natural colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain. Composite veneers can be completed in one visit and involve bonding tooth-coloured filling material to the front of the tooth. Although these veneers are slightly more prone to staining and have a shorter life, they are easily replaced.
How can my dentist Dr. Fernando fill a gap in my mouth?
If a tooth is missing, or needs extracting, there are several ways to fill the gap that is left. In some cases it is important to try to replace any missing teeth in order to balance the way your jaw bites. If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure, which can lead to broken fillings or even jaw problems. A partial denture is the simplest way of replacing missing teeth. However, some people find dentures uncomfortable and eventually decide to look at alternatives
What is a bridge?
Bridges are ideal for people who don’t like dentures or only have one or two teeth missing. Conventional bridges are made by crowning the teeth on either side of the gap and attaching a false tooth in the middle. They are fixed in the same way as crowns. These bridges are usually made of precious metal bonded to porcelain. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength.